No confidence vote averted amid fresh mediation hopes
A fresh vote of confidence in the Mayo County Board executive was averted at Thursday night's three-hour emergency meeting in Castlebar to discuss the impasse between the board and the Mayo GAA International Supporters' Foundation.
The meeting had been called at short notice after seven clubs sought clarification over the authenticity of the original vote which did not involve a show of hands. The board maintained in subsequent communication that a vote was not required because it had been proposed and seconded without a counter-proposal.
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Thursday night's meeting is understood to have reaffirmed the original vote while putting the ban on media attending board meetings back to the clubs for further discussion.
Part of the meeting is understood to have been taken up with the content and nature of email correspondence between members of the Foundation and board treasurer Kevin O'Toole.
O'Toole had referenced this at Monday night's meeting but restrictions were observed on legal advice after a letter from legal representatives of Foundation chairman Tim O'Leary was received.
The board presented a united front in a generic statement issued afterwards but the depth of the differences that have existed between some key officers has become apparent in recent days.
A push towards mediation was again reinforced by some clubs, as it was on the previous Monday night, and one of the members of the Foundation, London-based Terry Gallagher, has given full support to that.
"We (Foundation) are hoping to engage professional mediation through whatever means," he said yesterday. "Everybody is a bit fed up with it. It's time to put it behind us and learn from it. Everyone is sick of it. I think the clubs would like everyone to engage in mediation.
"We're hoping that it can be done. We're looking forward to reaching out to the board in the coming days. We want to try and work through this professionally, not publicly."
Gallagher is a son of a former Fianna Fáil Minister, Denis, who also served as a Mayo and Connacht GAA chairman and ran for GAA presidency when Seamus Ó Riain was elected.
He said that background allowed him to fully understood the roles of county board officers.
The Foundation is still holding €250,000 raised at a Gala Dinner in New York last May as it awaits business plans for an Academy, a Centre of Excellence and player welfare initiatives that it says the Gala Dinner was held to raise funds for specifically in the first place, with an April 9 letter to chairman Mike Connolly supporting that.